Chamber of Commerce officials helped Premier Car Wash and Lube celebrate its arrival in Easley with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning.
Partner and Operations Manager Marcus Colon said he and partner Todd Bennington, the business's CFO, officially purchased the business, located at 6300 Calhoun Memorial Highway on April 27.
Before opening on May 24, Colon and Bennington invested more than $200,000 in upgrades to the business including technology updates to the car wash tunnel and a complete makeover of the lobby.
Premier Car Wash offers its customers a feature you don't typically see in a car wash – an Internet cafe for customers to use.
“When I opened in Seneca, I said to myself, 'A customer is going to come here and get their car washed and if you're going to clean the car properly, depending on where the customer is in line, it's going to take 10-20 minutes,'” Colon said. “My goal was, how can I occupy customers' time and make it as painless as possible?”
The Internet cafe was the answer.
“With the Internet cafe, they're free to go on there and surf online, check their email, book a flight,” Colon said.
The cafe is also outfitted with plasma TVs.
“My basic goal was to occupy customers time while we pamper them,” Colon said.
The business also offers free Wi-fi.
Premier Car Wash and Lube offers a number of specials including Wonderful Wednesday where washes are $13, and a free membership program where you pay for nine basic full service car washes and get the tenth free.
“If you decide to get a higher package, you would just pay the difference,” Colon said.
There's also a 24-hour rain policy.
“If you get your car washed and it rains the following day, within 24 hours you can come back and get a free exterior wash,” Colon said.
The business also offers senior and military discounts and offers full-service detailing.
“We scrub engines, shampoo carpets, hand wax your vehicles, take off minor, light scratches, the whole nine yards,” Colon said.
Premier Car Wash and Lube also sells car accessories including cup holders, organizers, mats and sun shades.
The car wash is open 8:30 am - 6 pm Monday through Friday, 8:30am – 5 p.m. Saturday and 11am-4pm on Sundays.
The lube part of the business closes on Sundays.
“But rain or shine our oil lube will be open,” Colon said.
He said the business' previous owners would close the oil change business if it rained.
“The other ones down the street, they're open, so we need to be open,” Colon said. “We need to be consistent.”
Colon said the customer response has been great since day 1.
“I've never been in a business where customers were actually thanking us for opening,” Colon said. “That has been the consensus, customer after customer. One customer told me, 'I never realized how much I missed this place until it shut down.'
“He said, 'I do not like washing my own vehicle,' Colon continued.
The business currently employs 22 people, including several who worked at the car wash's previous incarnation.
Both Colon and Bennington bring experience in the car wash and lube businesses with them to their new Easley venture.
Colon owns Premier Car Wash in Seneca. Bennington is vice-president of operations at motor vehicle parts supplier BorgWarner.
“We're thankful for the opportunity to come into a very nice town,” Colon said. “Everyone has been very receptive.”